What happened on June 4th...
Wind blows down a tree onto a Hydro Line and a fire starts
On June 4th a Fire Starts Close to Birch Island
On June 4th around 3pm myself, Phil Reid and my fishing guide Craig Fournier were at Reid’s Birch Island Resort doing yard and resort maintenance in preparation of the 2020 fishing season opening up in late June/early July. With winds gusting up to 70km per hour, a tree was blown over onto a Hydro line across the bay, cutting power to the island and a forest fire was started. In that area, a row of cabins on the bank across from the island were at risk, not to mention the town of Minaki.
When Craig smelt something burning and noticed smoke across the lake, I called Minaki Fire department to report the fire and within 10 minutes of the call a spotting plane was dispatched and on site. It was amazing how fast the response was. Shortly after that, a helicopter arrived with a fire crew. With no landing zones close to the fire, they landed on Birch Island. We provided a boat to the crew and watched them go off to fight the fire. Shortly after that, 2 water bombers began dropping water on the fire and made 7-8 drops.
It’s hard tp imagine what could have happened if we were not on the island at that time and reporting the fire just as it started. We wanted to share this story/event to praise the firefighters from Minaki and the MNR personnel that did an amazing job responding to and fighting this potentially lethal forest fire. We also want to thank them for their hard work and dedication and the rapid response to this forest fire. It was absolutely amazing to see them in action.